Net: Here at Netwo…

Net: Here at Network, it’s easy to anticipate when a debate will begin. Just say “racism,” “fraternity,” or “breast,” and firestorms flame. But even in our jaded mental cells we are occasionally taken aback by consumer reaction. We’ve received purple mountainous majesties of letters arguing the correct use of the word “American,” and today we print a selection.
Only on a campus is a semantic debate so fierce. If only Vespucci was alive to witness …

AT LEAST WE KNOW WE’RE FREE
From Maximiliana: I am so incensed that I had to write. I get so mad at people from Latin America Net: Oh God … guess who will be writing us today … who complain that we have stolen part of their identity by calling ourselves “Americans,” or that we use the word only because we “have big egos and are a bunch of pricks.” We call ourselves Americans because the word “America” is in our nation’s name. Net: There is no “America” in the term “Great Satan.” Sure, our friends to the south call us “Estadounidenses,” Net: Our enemies to the south call us gringos which means roughly “United Statesans,” but the reason we use the part of our nation’s name that is also the name of the continent can be linked back to Britain. Net: Can’t everything? We didn’t pick our name by ourselves. Way before we were the United States we were a set of American colonies. Net: And before that, most of us were in other lands, while the original residents lived smallpox-free. The British referred to the population in the colonies sweepingly as “Americans.” When the colonies sought independence there wasn’t any particularly good reason to stop referring themselves by the name they thought was theirs Net: Critical theory had not yet been invented, especially because “America” was part of their new country’s name.
“American” is a name we were given, not a name that we took. To suggest that we should stop using “American” is as offensive to people from the United States as it seems to be for the Latinos because to stop is stealing from OUR identity. Net: Thus, if you believe the term “wetback” is crucial to understanding Latino heritage … Besides, it is my understanding that the two continents with the name America officially have prefixes of North and South, the usage of which allows one to differentiate whether a person is talking about the United States of America a particular continental allegiance.

From Circle1 to Indisposed:
Maybe you should crack open that dictionary you suggest Dr. Nick uses to look up “nationality.” If you did you would understand that “nation” and “country” (or “state”) are NOT synonymous. Net: True. If you’re in the Aryan Nation, you’re just a racist. But if you’re in Aryan country, you stepped into a lutefisk dinner. A nation is a group of ethnically similar people with a common culture, such as Bosnians, Dakotas, Anglo-Saxons, Zulus, etc. Net: Watch out — the Sigma Alpha Epsilon nation is coming your way fit this definition. Canadians do not. Canada is a state, a political organization. Net: A conspiracy! I don’t know which CLA classes you suggest Dr. Nick should take, but the ones I took were very clear on this subject.
As for the American use of the term “Americans” to describe ourselves, what are the options? United Statesian? The United States is the only American state to actually have the word “America” in its title. Other titles are awkward at best. Net: Imperialist dogs? I really think it has more to do with convenience than ego. In South America most everyone calls U.S. citizens “Norteamericanos” to deal with this — I’m sure you’ll find a way to cope. As for your assumption that all people in the rest of the Americas consider themselves “Americans,” find some Canadians and ask them if they are Americans. Dollars to doughnuts they will try to strangle you. Net: Are we talkin’ Canadian dollars? If that’s the case, it’s not worth betting. Nearly all of Canada’s self-image deals with not being “American.” Net: Canada has a self image? We bet it was made in Hollywood.
You are an idiot, Indisposed. You suggest others research things you apparently know nothing about. You are the prick with the (unduly) big ego. How typically American.

From Captian Canada: I’d just like to make clarify something written in Network. When Canadians say Americans, they mean United States of America. Also, us Canadians prefer not to be called Americans. Net: You like to be the Canadians, eh? So quit bitching about other people’s diction and sit your CLA ass down in a geography class. Net: We’d love to do that, but we can never find the building. Direction can be so challenging, especially when the entire world is pointing at you. God bless the U.S.A.!

YOUR QUESTIONS ARE YOUR THOUGHTS
From Parking’ployee to UWillCrash: I just wanted to let you know that your holdup on Friday was due to the MSHSL state hockey tournament. Net: Ours was due to a lack of cash. The consolation games were played at Mariucci. Net: Some consolation. Who won, the rats? Normally when there is an event going on, they will switch to event rates and charge as cars enter, but because this was a high school event, they could not do this. Net: Afraid of monopolizing the milk money? Or are students broke from the condom dispensers at high school dances? FOCUS ON THE FAMILY! I know it really sucked waiting to get out — it sucked working too! And let me just say that high school students have to be some of the dumbest people on the face of this earth!!! Net: Some of them choose to attend the University. Anyway, you shouldn’t have to worry about too many more holdups in the next few days. Net: Unless, of course, NITWIT gets the munchies. And with that — I’m off! Net: And so are we — to another day of rhymin’ and stealin.’ Keep on rockin’ in the free world, y’all!